Fishing professionals plan Germany visit to thank troops
September 18, 2003
Some top U.S. fishermen will visit Germany to tell troops they appreciate their work. Roland Martin, Gary Yamamoto and crew will probably have a few fish stories to tell as well.
The Yamamoto Bass Battalion, including “The World’s Greatest Fishing Band,” will perform Sept. 26-29. The tour is being called the “Operation Iraqi Freedom Fishing Tour.” Shows are scheduled for Wiesbaden, Mannheim, Vilseck and Spangdahlem.
The performers include:
Yamamoto of Athens, Texas, president of Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Yamamoto served in the Air Force as a sergeant and X-ray technician in Thailand from 1964-68 during the Vietnam War.Martin of Clewiston, Fla., host of the television show “Fishing With Roland Martin” and nine-time Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society Angler of the Year. Martin served as an Army second lieutenant in artillery from 1963-65.Beverly Yamamoto of Athens, Texas, wife of Gary and international fishing competitor whose father, World War II veteran Herbert M. Sasaki, was a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team that earned nine presidential citations for its actions in the European theater.Judy Wong of Sugar Land, Texas, winner of the Women’s Bass Fishing Association world championship in 2001 and 2002 and runner-up in 2003.Chief-George Braswell of Salina, Okla., also known as “The Singing Cherokee,” and a retired U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant. He is a musician and promotions director for Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits.Braswell said the shows will include a short concert by “The World’s Greatest Fishing Band” and songs from its CD, “Papa Was a Fishin’ Man”; songs from “The Singing Cherokee” in tribute to freedom and U.S. fighting forces; comments from the all-star fishermen; the singing of Merle Haggard’s patriotic song, “The Fightin’ Side of Me”; meet-and-greets; autographs and giveaways.
All the shows are free, Braswell said.
Braswell said the group might make a side trip or two, including to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to visit troops who were wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We hope to go with our small little entourage and let them know we appreciate what they do,” Braswell said.
“We’ll get out a guitar and get everyone rounded up, sing a few songs and carry on for a while out in the lobby. Those [troops] who can’t make it, we’ll go into their rooms and shake their hands.”
The tour schedule: Wiesbaden: Sept. 26, at 4 p.m., at the Community Activity Center; 5 p.m. at the dining facility; Mannheim: Sept. 27, at 1 p.m., at The Cove (formerly the Provisions restaurant); Vilseck: Sept. 28, at 1 p.m., at the Langenbruck Center, Building 607; Spangdahlem: Sept. 29, at 6 p.m., at the Saber Club.